Posted on: January 27, 2013

Another Draw, Better Luck Next Time Viswanathan Anand

By Sneha Jain

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Another Draw, Better Luck Next Time Viswanathan Anand

World Champion Viswanathan Anand could not maintain his natural game even after getting a lead because of which he had to draw eventually with former women's world champion Yifan Hou of China in the 11th round of 75th Tata Steel Chess tournament held in The Netherlands.

Cautiously attempting to get a win to bridge the gap with tournament leader Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Anand dominated Yifan right from the beginning but an incredible blunder in what seemed to be a victorious move cost the Indian a crucial half point. Carlsen was able to maintain his sole lead on an overall.

During the earlier rounds, the ace Indian chess player was able to outclass Van Wely successfully. However, he could not work out the same magic in the case of his Chinese opponent because of which he had to remain content with the points he already earned. Slipping to the third spot is something that he cannot afford at this juncture of the tournament. Anand who is known for his quick reflexes and is considered to be the master of rapid chess tournaments could not keep up the pressure with his wily moves.

Carlsen was able to hold on the sole lead after getting through few anxious moments against Wang Hao of China who strived for a win against the world number one. The Norwegian extended his tally of 8.5 points out of an apparent eleven and he is now followed closely by Levon Aronian of Armenia who checked U.S. Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura.

Having another opponent in the form of Aronian on 7.5 points, Anand slipped to sole third spot with seven points finally with the hopes of world champion reaching nowhere and emerging as the tournament leader are totally slim.

During the other games, it was P Harikrishna who regaled a fantastic endgame but could not convert it in to a full point against Erwin L’Ami of Holland. One more draw enabled Harikrishna to a handsome 5.5 points in the category-20 super tournament.

The day consisted of four result-oriented games in all and getting benefits was Sergey Karjakin of Russia who outdone Ivan Sokolov of Holland. The other Dutch player Loek Van Wely went down fighting against Peter Leko while local star Anish Giri disrupting the plans of Fabiano Caruana of Italy to score his first victory in the tournament.

There are just two rounds left in the tournament now as it appears to be of academic interest with Carlsen ensuring a full point lead. Anand will now meet L’Ami in the next round and will be expecting to display a spirited performance.

The original plan was Najdorf Sicilian by Anand as black with Yifan going totally wrong early while considering the launch an offence against the centralised black king. Anand played down the initiative with the trading of queens to claim a significant advantage.

With the win nearing fast, Anand resorted to an optical error and found himself stranded in a drawn king and pawns endgame. It needs to be seen how the Indian GM will showcase his moves now.

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